Michelle Isenhoff

Howliday Inn, by James Howe, 1982, Book Review

This week I figured I’d build on last Monday’s post about Bunnicula and review Howliday Inn, the next book in James Howe’s hilarious series. Unfortunately, his wife Deborah did not live to co-author this one. But the book maintains Bunnicula’s quirky style. I actually received this book in fourth grade as a new release, and […]

Bunnicula, by Deborah and James Howe, 1979, Book Review

I first met Chester and Harold as a kid and fell in love with them. If you haven’t encountered these two yet, let me introduce you. Chester is a highly educated cat with a vivid imagination. One of his delights is to listen to his owner, a college English professor, practice class lectures. He’s widely […]

The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog, by John R. Erickson, 1983, Book Review

Hank is an Australian shepherd employed on an American ranch. Being “Head of Ranch Security,” as he proudly informs us, “requires a keen mind, a thick skin, and a peculiar devotion to duty. I mean, you put in sixteen-eighteen hours a day. You’re on call day and night. Your life is on the line every […]

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo, 2006, Book Review

This is an adorable novel with the sweetly nostalgic feel of an old classic, which Bagram Ibatoulline intensifies with his stunning illustrations. It reminded me greatly of Margery William’s The Velveteen Rabbit. I would estimate the independent reading level suitable for tweens, but the story is a fabulous read-aloud for children as young as four and five, […]

Into the Wild (Warriors series), by Erin Hunter, 2003, Book Review

I picked up the first of the Warriors series on the recommendation of a sixth grade girl. I can understand the appeal: an organized clan of cats struggling to survive in the wild. Even boys, I think, would take to the battles, the intrigue, the desperate attempts of ThunderClan to overcome dangers that threaten from […]

A Dog’s Life: Autobiography of a Stray, by Ann M. Martin, 2005, Book Review

I’m a huge dog-lover and a sucker for any story featuring man’s best friend. Buck, Lad, Kitty, Marley, Lassie, I’ve read them all. Add to that list Squirrel, a loveable stray who tells her story in the first person. Born in a deserted shed, Squirrel was content to live and play with brother, Bone, and […]

Tango: The Tale of an Island Dog, by Eileen Beha, 2009, Book Review

Tango: The Tale of an Island Dog is a cute story that will appeal to dog lovers. Tango is a Yorkshire terrier accustomed to the good life. But when he’s swept off his yacht and washed ashore on Prince Edward Island, he finds himself in need of a friend. Fortunately, he finds lots of them. Miss […]

The Outside of a Horse, by Ginny Rorby, 2010, Book Review

“There’s nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse.” The Outside of a Horse is an emotional, eye-opening novel that has pushed me into some new areas of thinking. I’m afraid my review may grow rather controversial before I’m done. Hannah’s mother died of cancer five years ago, and […]

Sounder, by William Armstrong, Book Review

Has anyone out there not yet read this incredible book? Written by William H. Armstrong in 1969, it won the Newberry Medal, the most distinguished award for children’s literature, and not by any stroke of luck. Sounder is a masterful coming of age story, but it’s also far, far more. Set in the deep South in […]

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